Mayor Krajewski called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.
Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Thomas Sisul, Michael Gilbert, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Daniel Blondin; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Susie Gura, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: John van Pelt, Chicago Area E-85 Project; Technology Commission members Mark Grippando, Marc Lopata, Will Hutchinson; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Tim McJoynt, 1423 Grant; John LeDonne, 1221 Parkway; Joan Radovich, Bill Hall, PB Products, North America; Brad Littrell, Delta Environmental Consultants, Inc.; Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; George Swimmer, 4905 Main; Maureen McGowan, Marsh USA Inc., 500 W. Monroe, Chicago; Larry Rosol, 6556 Berrywood Staff: Jane Gerdes, Assistant Director, Public Works; Stan Balicki, Support Services Manager, Public Works; Dennis Burke, Risk Manager; Susan Brassfield, Grants Coordinator; Police Department: Chief Porter, Deputy Chief Bluder, Marion Heintz, Tracy Adams, Mary Nelson, Jim Edwards, Jim Maly; Fire Department: Deputy Chief Jim Jackson; Greg Curry, John Dumanski, Andrew Vock; Fire Prevention: Chief Rich Berndt, Carol Makoui; Information Services: Director Liangfu Wu, Bill Herman, Robert Rossi; Ken Rathje, Director, Planning Services; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Marty Lyons, Director, Financial Services; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager, Administration
Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.
The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.
Mayor Krajewski said that Cammi Granato from Downers Grove is participating in her second Olympics in Women’s Hockey. He said the Men’s 5000 Meter Speedskating Silver medal winner, Derek Parra, has competed many times in Downers Grove in in-line skating as has Jennifer Rodriguez and others participating in the Olympics. He reminded everyone that the in-line skating competition in Downers Grove will be held August 17-18, 2002.
Tax Levy Review
Mayor Krajewski said many residents have asked him to review the tax information he presented last week. He reviewed the Downers Grove 2000 property tax levy and utility taxes including telecommunications, electric, and natural gas, and the water rate. He provided a comparison between Downers Grove and 15 neighboring municipalities.
Comparing the property tax rates, Mayor Krajewski said Oak Brook and Willowbrook do not have a tax levy. Downers Grove’s tax rate is .20 and the average in the comparison is .55. The maximum telecommunications tax is 6%. Downers Grove’s rate is 3.5%. The maximum electric tax is 5%; Downers Grove’s rate is 2.3%. The maximum tax for natural gas is 5%, the average is 3.5% and Downers Grove’s rate is 2.3%. The average water rate is $2.68 per 100 cu. ft. The rate in Downers Grove is $2.30 per 100 cu. ft. The municipalities against which this comparison was made include Oak Brook, Willowbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Glen Ellyn, Westmont, Lombard, Naperville, Wheaton, Darien, Clarendon Hills, Villa Park and Lisle.
Mayor Krajewski said Downers Grove has an overall ranking of 3.2 for all taxes. Darien was next, at 5.2. He said if Downers Grove increased taxes to equal the average of our comparison communities, property taxes would generate $3.8 million more into the general fund. Telecommunication taxes would increase by $1.8 million to the general fund and $800,000 to the capital projects fund. Electric taxes would increase by $600,000 to the general fund and $278,000 to the capital projects fund. Natural gas taxes would increase by $127,000 to the general fund and $54,000 to the capital projects fund. The water rate would increase by $1 million. The total additional revenue would be $8.5 million. He said the Village has been able to deliver services at a substantially lower tax burden to residents.
Regarding the 2002 budget, the Mayor said sales taxes are down. The Village is conducting a survey of services provided by other communities. He said the Village is looking to increase some services and shift others. He said one budget meeting has been held and other meetings are scheduled.
Manager Ginex said item 4b, Plan Commission recommendation regarding File #1072, Ohnsman Lot Split, has been taken off tonight’s agenda and will be brought back at a later time.
Public Safety System Project Update. Manager Ginex asked Liangfu Wu to discuss this item.
Dr. Liangfu Wu , Director, Information Services, referenced the report submitted on the Public Safety System Project by the project team. The team consisted of Village staff and the Technology Commission. He said they worked closely with their consultant, Emergency Services Consulting Group. He said members of the team were in attendance at tonight’s meeting.
Dr. Wu said the project team was directed to conduct the purchase of a new public safety system through a request for proposal (RFP) process. An RFP was developed and has been completed without selecting a new public safety system. He said a public safety system is a very complex computer system consisting of four major components: Computer aided dispatching (CAD), police records, fire records, and mobile computers connecting the field vehicles to the CAD and the records systems.
The RFP was posted on the Village’s web site and visited by more than 30 vendors. Of the six vendors who submitted proposals, five met the guidelines set forth in the RFP and were accepted. Two vendors, Vision Air and LogiSys, were selected as finalists. Site visits and financial analyses were part of the RFP process.
The project team members conducted site visits to evaluate the proposed systems in action. Dr. Wu said site visits were an important part of the RFP process to see how the systems operate in the “real world.” He said there were significant discrepancies between the demonstrated products and the systems seen at the site visits. Further, concurrent with the site visits, one of the Technology Commission members conducted a very detailed financial analysis of the two finalists. The results of the financial analysis raised questions about the financial condition of one of the vendors.
Dr. Wu said the project team demonstrated a great deal of professionalism. Had the RFP process not been conducted, the Village may have spent a considerable sum of money for a system that would not meet its needs.
Dr. Wu asked Will Hutchinson of the Technology Commission to address the Council regarding the Commission’s participation in the project.
Will Hutchinson , 4616 Oakwood, a member of the Technology Commission, stated that the Commission has members drawn from a variety of the IT industry, bringing a range of perspectives to the project. Mr. Hutchinson said he is in software sales himself. He said that the system will have to meet the needs of the Police and Fire Departments. The team approached the project with the needs of those departments in mind. The Commission assessed the vendors from the RFPs, particularly regarding the financial stability of the vendors. They found one of the favored vendors seemed to be running through cash at an alarming rate. Also, in site visits to two vendors, what existed did not match the demonstrations. He said that at this point they believe the best alternative is to upgrade the current system to the latest HTE software. Mr. Hutchinson said HTE ’s financials look satisfactory, but he thinks this vendor is looking to buy out competition. He said he noted this to Dr. Wu because typically this means the company, in his experience, is getting ready to cut back on customer service, cut back on R&D, and raise prices. He said the Village must be very aggressive in negotiating a contract with strong wording to guarantee services. He said the vendors must be held to its promises.
Commissioner Sisul asked to what Mr. Hutchinson attributes the fact that not many of the 30 vendors submitted proposals. Mr. Hutchinson said he only heard one reason from one vendor, which was that they could not turn the proposal around in 60 days. He said it might be good to canvass those contacted to determine their reasons for not bidding.
The Mayor noted that only small and midsize firms responded to the RFP . Mr. Hutchinson said that may be because they have fewer levels of bureaucracy and could respond more quickly.
Commissioner Sisul asked whether other vendors were using systems other than the 400NT base platform. Mr. Hutchinson said that only two vendors used the 400NT base platform. The others supported Windows or Windows 2000.
Commissioner McConnell thanked Mr. Hutchinson and the Commission for all of the work they have done. In regard to HTE , she asked how can they provide service and installation if the focus is going to be consolidation. Mr. Hutchinson said he is not concerned about the installation, as it is typically not done by the same people who participate in the integration exercises. The on-going customer service and R&D is done by the vendor and is a concern. He continued his response saying the vendor will only work as well as the Village is willing to monitor and enforce compliance to the contractor. He suggested the Village make sure that there is a defined service level agreement with defined escalation procedures. Upgrades need to be spelled out clearly with penalty payments, and the annual maintenance payment should be contingent upon meeting established milestones. Commissioner McConnell asked whether the vendor would be likely to agree to these specifications, Mr. Hutchinson said their software sales were down 50% last year, which is a factor that may make them more amenable to the specifications. He said the company looks like it is living off of its maintenance payments. Commissioner McConnell said if that is the case, why would the Village consider looking at this firm. Mr. Hutchinson said that it appears to be an extension of what the Village has today, which does meet the Village’s needs. In addition, he said the company is looking to grow by acquisition, and they believe the market for public municipal software is consolidating.
Commissioner Sisul said he remembered comments being made about conversion of the existing data. There seemed to be a reluctance by other vendors to address this. He asked if that is because of the way we are keeping the data, or is it the specific format. Mr. Hutchinson said that typically the data has to be stored in the format required by the vendor. Vendors do not like to do conversion because it is not repeatable, and is difficult to do. He does not know if there are ways to standardize the data.
Commissioner Schnell said in the initial discussions there appeared to be problems with the current system. She asked if by upgrading, the Village is fixing the problem that exists or is it merely a band-aid. Dr. Wu said they will apply the same scrutiny to HTE as they did to other vendors. They have not decided to go with the upgrade of the HTE at this time.
Mayor Krajewski said they are looking to explore the possibility of upgrading with HTE . He thanked the Commission and staff for its hard work, stating the Technology Commission has really dissected this issue. The Council was concerned about the financial analysis of HTE . He said that one of the things the system will enable the Village to do is to integrate the car laptops to get reports done quicker, allowing the officers to be on the street more.
Police Chief Porter said they are asking to explore the upgrade as an option. They are looking to improve the technology for both departments.
Firefighter Greg Curry said the Fire Department has the most to gain from this. They are in the preliminary stages of looking at HTE , and have had initial talks with Westmont, River Forest, Naperville, Schaumburg and others. So far the feedback looks good as does the actual product.
The Mayor said there are laptops for the police cars but not the Fire Department. He doesn’t want to have software with nothing to use it on. Mr. Curry responded that their goal is not just to replace the records system. There is a lot to gain to have mobiles in their rigs, as they can get records from hospitals and other medical records necessary as they are going to a call. They have preliminary estimates of the hardware costs from HTE and another vendor, which is approximately $163,000 for hardware and application purchase. That does not include the annual maintenance fees. The Mayor asked if other Fire Departments have laptops in their trucks. Mr. Curry said Westmont has a system that was not customized, River Forest’s system is customized to the same extent Downers Grove would want to have. Naperville is an example of the potential of what the system can do. He said that Schaumburg recently left HTE . In further response to the Mayor, Mr. Curry said this would definitely help EMS . Currently they obtain information as they walk in the door of a call, unless they have been there previously.
Commissioner Zabloudil said that the RFP process has worked exactly as it should have worked. He thanked the staff and the Commission for their persistence.
Commissioner Gilbert asked if there are alternatives to the cost of $163,000 outlined by Firefighter Curry. Mr. Curry said there may be alternatives to the hardware issue, and they are still investigating those possibilities.
Tracy Adams , Police Records Department, said that at first the Fire Department was not looking to replace the fire records package; however, they are now looking to replace full records which includes a higher cost for the software. She said in response to Commissioner Gilbert that they have to have software for the mobile units to integrate with the Fire Department records.
Commissioner Gilbert said that the Village could have spent a lot of money for a product that might not have worked, and he appreciates the thorough review and work that has gone into this project.
Commissioner Tully added his thanks to the Village Departments and Technology Commission for their extraordinary conscientiousness in pursuing this.
Fee Waiver Policy. The Manager said Council asked staff to look into this about a month ago and he asked Attorney Blondin to report.
Village Attorney Dan Blondin said that on a number of occasions the Council has looked at fee waivers. He then provided background information on the existing policy as it is in the Municipal Code. He said the policy provides broad authority to waive fees to government and not-for-profit organizations with no real limitations. In 1996, Resolution 96-44 placed some limitations for fee waivers when the Village is required to hire consultants. Limitations also included certain special fees that could be waived and those that could not be waived. The policy does not have the force of an Ordinance and does not prohibit the Council from acting as it sees fit.
Attorney Blondin said that Don Rosenthal provided a summary of fee waiver provisions from other communities. He said that none of those communities has a cap on the fees to be waived, and some do not have a formal written policy. The only community that does not provide for waiver of fees was the City of Darien. He said there are threshold questions, including whether an applicant who meets the governmental/not-for-profit category should be entitled to a fee waiver as a matter of right. They also need to examine the parameters of who would be eligible, what categories would be eligible, and if there should be an amount limitation. He asked whether the Council wanted drafts of categories of fees to be waived, use restrictions, eligibility, etc.
Commissioner McConnell said she would like to see the differentiation between soft and hard and pass-through costs. She said she thought the currently eligible entities were fine and did not think there should be a limit on the amount.
Commissioner Schnell said she does not want to waive Village costs, although she has no problem with soft costs for government entities, schools, churches, etc. It is difficult to come up with a maximum figure, however. For now, she does not want to waive hard costs.
Commissioner Gilbert said he supports leaving it as a Resolution to provide a little more latitude. He said hard costs actually cost the taxpayers money, while soft costs are absorbed into the system. He said he thought it should remain discretionary for soft costs, and exempt for hard costs.
Commissioner Zabloudil agreed with leaving this as a Resolution. He does not want to waive the hard costs.
Commissioner Sisul asked if they would have to make changes to the existing policy given the current discussion among the Commissioners. Attorney Blondin said that it would be beneficial to change some language regarding reimbursement of costs for outside consultants. They may also want to review the hard costs.
Commissioner Tully said that the Code did not provide guidance. He said that Resolution 96-44 provides a great deal of guidance. He agrees it may need some tightening, but he is satisfied with the guidance of that Resolution. He is in favor of placing a cap, even though it is difficult to rationalize. He would never waive hard costs and would retain absolute discretion with respect to soft costs. Perhaps they can decide not to go above a certain level, given specific circumstances. He would like to see a better definition of hard versus soft costs.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, said she agreed with the flexibility and discretionary issues, but asked how this fits into the framework of Public Hearings. She gave as an example the request for fee waivers from the Park District.
Attorney Blondin said that fee waivers would always have to be brought back to the Council. Ms. Fregeau asked whether the Park District issue for the Belmont waiver has been resolved. The Mayor said the Park District has been asked to pay the fees, and it will then be reviewed.
Attorney Blondin said he would draft an Ordinance and circulate it to the Council. He saw no reason for Workshopping it again.
Ordinance Amending False Alarm Fees for Security & Fire. The Manager said last year the Fire Department responded to 488 false alarms. A large number of apparatus as well as 16 personnel per unit responded in each case. Historically the alarms are from negligence or defective systems. The false alarms have increased since 1992 when the fees were instituted. He said there was a reduction of 21% from 688 alarms in 1991 to 488 in 2002. The Fire Department recommends increasing the structure by $50.00.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked if there is a distribution or breakdown of the false alarms.
Richard Berndt , Chief, Fire Prevention Bureau, said the biggest percentage is commercial, perhaps as much as 80%. Commissioner Zabloudil asked if there is any common root case for malfunction in the alarm systems. Mr. Berndt said that the Bureau requires an annual report on system maintenance. Generally the problem is caused by a lack of maintenance.
The Mayor said the Ordinance stated that for 1-4 false alarms, there is no charge. Mr. Berndt said that was correct, and if there is a fifth alarm in 60 days the fee will be charged. The Mayor asked if that meant there are some people who are having up to 5 false alarms in 60 days, and Mr. Berndt said that was correct.
Carol Makoui , False Fire Alarm Coordinator, Fire Prevention Bureau, said their goal is to work with businesses to insure that they operate safely for the residents as well as the business owners. There are some businesses that don’t seem to understand how to prevent the problem, or what they are expected to do. The Mayor said that he would think if there were two false alarms in 60 days they would check out what the problem is; however, there are some cases where there are false alarms 3 or 4 times or more in a 60-day period. Ms. Makoui said the problem is often that the alarm system itself is not working properly. The objective is the life safety of residents. Mr. Berndt said that owners are notified and inspectors are sent out the next day to investigate.
Commissioner Gilbert asked about comparison of the fee structure to other towns. Ms. Makoui said the Village is about in the middle in comparison to other communities as $125-$150 is the average fee charged by other communities. She said they have come a long way from the 618 false alarms in 1992, compared to 488 today; however, they could do better. Commissioner Gilbert asked whether they should begin charging at an earlier point in time. Ms. Makoui said that usually the job is corrected after the first false alarm. She thinks what is proposed is fair.
The Mayor asked if they have anyone with six or more false alarms in 60 days. Ms. Makoui said she’s only been here for a short time, but there were 488 activations that could have been prevented. She believes that they now have a good relationship with businesses that might have had a complacent attitude in the past. The Mayor said he felt if someone has 6 violations in 60 days, they are not getting the message. Ms. Makoui said there is a $300 fine for 6 violations in 60 days, and there are other portions of the Ordinance that they can be cited on as well. She believes it is an aggressive program.
Commissioner Zabloudil said that 6 or more false alarms in 60 days is not acceptable as it impacts the residents in these properties or other businesses. He is for aggressive enforcement.
Commissioner Schnell asked if there is any way to proactively educate people. Ms. Makoui said they have an aggressive approach of explaining the requirement to the violators, as well as an educational outreach program as part of the Fire Prevention program. Chief Berndt added that they also send out information to both commercial and residential owners with new systems.
The Mayor said the decrease has been substantial, but there is still a potential for alarms with the increase in residences and commercial businesses.
Manager Ginex said that on the police side, there were 2,036 false security alarms. The fee was instituted in 1992 with a restructuring in 1996, which had a positive effect as well. The Police are recommending a fee structure increase of $50 per increment, with an additional fee increase of $350 for businesses generating 150 or more activations.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about the distribution of commercial and residential.
Marion Heintz , False Security Alarm Coordinator, Police Department, said it is 98% commercial.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the educational process used when new alarms are installed. Ms. Heintz said that an informational packet as well as a letter is sent out. She said that many of the businesses feel that alarm activation is simply a cost of doing business and don’t have a problem with the fee. She said they don’t seem to have an interest in correcting the problem. There is the additional problem of complacency on the part of the police officers who respond to false alarms at the same business all the time.
Commissioner Zabloudil said that even with an education program, the problem persists.
The Mayor said that they have to look at the chronic violators. Ms. Heintz said that there were 34 businesses with ten or more activations in a year.
Marty Lyons , Finance Director, said in listening to the discussion, it is similar to that held regarding the superticket for violations of CBD parking. They may want to look at a similar schedule with these violations.
George Swimmer , 4905 Main, said he thought it was outrageous that a business would say it is the cost of doing business to put a police or fire truck on the street, going through traffic at high speed. He said the Council would be remiss to ignore this issue.
Plan Commission Recommendations:
File #1070 Parker’s Place (Rosol-Landbank) Planned Development. The Manager asked Ken Rathje to discuss this item.
Ken Rathje , Director of Planning Services, said the Plan Commission forwarded a positive unanimous recommendation for the Rosol-Landbank Planned Development. Mr. Rathje said the subject property is 1.735 acres. The petitioner is proposing 25 townhome units comprised of two 8-unit buildings, one 5-unit building and one 4-unit building. He reviewed the various site plan specifics with corresponding setbacks. The plan calls for a total of 13 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units. The total land area necessary to support this density is 64,314 square feet which is about 85% of the maximum density permitted.
Mr. Rathje said that about 39% of the site will be in some form of open space, with 27% in open green space. In addition, the developer proposes a 5,000 square foot park site that will be conveyed back to the Village. The Village Forester has approved the landscaping plan.
Regarding stormwater management, Mr. Rathje said the petitioner’s plan contains two detention areas. They will be at the east and west ends of the site. Mr. Rathje said there will be approximately .74 acre feet of stormwater storage. He said that Ms. Whitlock, the Village’s Stormwater Coordinator, has signed the stormwater permit as they are construction-ready.
Mr. Rathje noted that the driveway design has rear-loaded garages with one driveway in from each roadway, which reduces the pressure on the pavement and for visibility and traffic flow. He said several conditions were placed on the development including 1) stormwater utility easements; 2) homeowners association covenants; 3) petitioner needs to construct a new section of stormsewer to abrogate an easement; 4) donation of school and park fees; 5) parkway trees will be planted by Village Forester. Mr. Rathje said the Commission supported the petitioner’s request for waiver from having to widen the right-of-way for Gilbert Avenue or Curtiss Street.
Commissioner McConnell asked how the change in stormwater detention will impact the downstream area. Mr. Rathje said that since there is no stormwater detention provided for this site now, it should not worsen the situation, and could have a positive impact instead. This site will not add to the rate of stormwater flow downstream.
The Mayor noted that Morningside made the area substantially better than what was there in terms of stormwater detention. In addition, what will be built at Station Crossing will be an improvement over what already exists. He said that theoretically these developments are not negatively impacting the downstream area. As they construct the parking deck, there will be additional underground containment.
Commissioner Schnell asked if the detention area to the west was dry. Mr. Rathje said it is potentially a dry concrete bottom but will have at least a foot of water, which will be more attractive due to the reflection from the water. Commissioner Schnell asked if there is a need for additional trees on Gilbert and Curtiss. Mr. Rathje said the developer is providing three maples, and two ashes which the Village will be installing.
The Mayor asked whether the five trees were part of the 86 proposed. Mr. Rathje said he would get that information.
Commissioner Gilbert asked about the average setback on Gilbert and Curtiss Streets. Mr. Rathje said that it ranges from 7.67 feet to 24.17 feet, for an average of 16 feet. He noted that the two end units serve as “bookends” with corresponding setbacks.
Commissioner Gilbert said that the Plan Commission minutes addressed concerns that Curtiss might have to be widened due to the increased traffic flow. He added that it is not likely that will happen. Mr. Rathje added that the opinion expressed in the minutes regarding widening came from a member of the audience, and not the staff or Plan Commission. He said there is uniform right-of-way now and there is not likely to be significant redevelopment that will affect the right-of-way.
Commissioner Zabloudil said that one main entrance for Gilbert and for Curtiss enhances the streets and reduces curb cuts. In addition, the traffic will pull in and out rather than backing out into the street.
Mayor Krajewski complimented the developer on keeping the site clean. He asked about sales operations and marketing for the development.
Larry Rosol , 6556 Berrywood, developer for the project, said they plan to open a sales office at 5145 Main Street on Friday. There have been 25 inquiries so far, and signs will be installed on the property today. There has been no advertising so far. Regarding the parkway trees, they are included in the 86 noted.
Risk Management Insurance. The Manager said Manager Ginex asked Dennis Burke, Risk Manager, for his report.
Dennis Burke , Risk Manager, said Maureen McGowan, Vice President of Middle Business for Marsh USA is present tonight. He said he is requesting approval for a broker of record agreement with Marsh USA for Fiscal Year 2002-03. He explained that the Village has a self-insurance program including general liability, auto liability and property. He said of late the insurance market has become more rigid. Insurance companies have made investments in the market, which has declined. September 11 also had a great impact on the insurance industry. Many companies are not writing new business and their renewal rates are astronomical. Mr. Burke said that Marsh USA has continued to advise him of the trends in the market. The other brokers that competed for business last year have not contacted the Village. Due to the present circumstances, he said he thought it would be prudent to sign a broker of record agreement for Marsh USA because the current underwriters for excess coverage will keep the Village as a good customer. He believed it would be in the Village’s best interest to go with Marsh at a broker fee of $15,000. This will be a flat fee with no commissions, only the broker’s fee. They are the Village’s current broker.
The Mayor asked if Marsh was involved with other municipalities.
Maureen McGowan , Vice President of Middle Business for Marsh USA said they do represent other municipalities. Regarding the present market, she said that the re-insurance market is driving the industry at this time. The Mayor asked if it is probable that they will see a reduction in coverage or an increase in costs, or both. Ms. McGowan said they are already investigating what is being provided, and will provide quotes probably on a layered program with multiple carriers.
Commissioner McConnell asked if the 25% increase is realistic if they are trying to maintain the same coverage. Mr. Burke responded that it may not be enough. The industry is changing daily, and there are 30-day limits on quotes now. His guess is that it may be higher.
Ms. McGowan said they would be better off at projecting a 75% increase. Currently the Village has $50 million in excess coverage and that may not be affordable for the Village. She said that DuPage County previously had $50 million and reduced it to $30 million.
Dave Van Vooren , Deputy Village Manager, Administration, said there are several components involved, one of which is the purchase of the insurance, secondly the loss of reserve funds. We have latitude for non-fixed funds, and he will look at the figures again if the Council wishes. Mr. VanVooren said that one of the biggest concerns is the transportation component which the Village has.
The Mayor said that the risk is commuter buses and exposure in the charter buses. He said the bigger risk is with the charters. That’s why the $50 million umbrella was established. He asked how soon they will know what will happen. Ms. McGowan said the current carriers will be quoting and she expects to have numbers in time for the budget April 2.
Commissioner McConnell asked how the current policies address terrorism. Ms. McGowan said it is included now but will be excluded in January, as well as black mold.
Mr. VanVooren said that the renewal premium last year was $158,000. He raised those figures by 25%, and even if they were raised by 50% it would not be an extremely large amount.
Commissioner Tully asked about the broker’s fee and how broker’s fees compare. Mr. Burke said that the two lowest broker’s fees last year were $15,000.
Commissioner Tully then asked about the broker of record letter being for a one-year period. He asked if there is the option to terminate on a 90-day written notice. Mr. Burke said that was correct. He pointed out that Marsh is presently the Village’s broker of record. Staff is requesting that Marsh now be the sole source to work for the Village.
The Mayor asked that Ms. McGowan provide copies of the various prices from companies, and not just the lowest costs.
An Ordinance Amending Parking Restrictions Resulting from the CBD Reconstruction Project. The Manager said the ordinance basically corrects some faulty measurements and inconsistencies.
Grant Agreement from the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs for the Heavy Duty Rescue Squad Vehicle. The Manager said the Village received a fourth and final agreement from the Department of Commerce & Community Affairs to purchase the heavy rescue squad vehicle for the Fire Department. The grant is in the amount of $82,000 through the efforts of Senator Dillard. The remaining balance for the equipment will come from the equipment replacement fund. To date the Village has received $282,000 from DCCA .
The Mayor thanked Senator Dillard for his assistance, and said there is another grant in the amount of $90,000 coming through Senator Walsh’s efforts. That will bring the total up to $372,000. He thanked all the State Legislators for helping out in this manner to obtain this equipment.
Grant Agreement from the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs for Educational Robot. The Manager said this grant, sponsored by Senator Dillard, in the amount of $10,000 will purchase an educational robot in the form of a robotic squad car for the crime prevention and education program for children.
Grant Application to Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of the Bulletproof Vest Program. The Manager said this is for the purchase of 20 bulletproof vests. The total estimated project cost is $8,920.00 with a required minimum local match of 50%. The Village will be required to contribute $4,460.00. The Manager said last year the Village was awarded $4,462.02 in grant funding toward the purchase of 30 bulletproof vests for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program.
Grant Application to Chicago Area Transportation Study to Support Bikeway Program with CMAQ Funds. The Manager said staff recommends submitting this grant for 2003. The project cost estimate is $199,000 of which the Village is required to contribute a $40,000 match. No work would be done on the project until 2003-04.
The Mayor asked about funds obtained previously through Representative Bellock in combination with the Village of Woodridge.
Stan Balicki , Support Services Manager, Public Works, said that was earmarked for the NIGAS bikeway project which has been changed in scope. The Village needs to revisit this with Woodridge to determine how the funds will be used.
Commissioner Tully said he saw the letter from the League of Illinois Bicyclists and joined in their appreciation for staff’s efforts in improving traffic flow and improving the quality of life for Village residents. He then asked about the construction proposed for fiscal year 2003-04, and what the maintenance costs for on-street routes will be. Mr. Balicki said that the costs are minor and involve signage and striping. Some roadway maintenance would probably include sealing of the pavement after 7-10 years and repaving after 20 years. There is nothing substantial in the near future.
Commissioner Schnell asked if this is the first implementation of this project. Mr. Balicki responded that it is the second grant application. The bikeway plan was divided into a 5-year implementation program. The Village was recently notified that it was successful in its first round of applications. He said that although not always been visible, there have been things going on behind the scene such as the design phase. He said that the grant filed last February will be available for the 2002-03 fiscal year.
11. Grant Application to City of Chicago Department of Environment to Support E85 Fueling Facility with CMAQ Funds. Mr. Balicki said the Council has received a report on this project. Staff proposed to file an application for funding to install an E85 fueling facility at the Public Works site, which would provide an alternative fuel. He said that John van Pelt with the E85 program is present to answer any questions.
The Mayor asked if this was in addition to the Natural Gas fuel facility. Mr. Balicki said it was. The Mayor said this would help exceed the air quality controls for clean air.
Mr. Balicki said there are a number of interesting aspects to this. This relates to addressing our country’s dependence upon foreign oil for everyday needs. There has to be another source that is renewable, good for the environment, and can be produced in Illinois. The Mayor added that over $100 billion a year is spent on foreign oil.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about the size of the tank.
John van Pelt , Chicago Area E-85 Project, said it would be a 6,000 gallon tank.
Mr. Balicki further responded to Commissioner Zabloudil regarding additional traffic at the Public Works fueling station, stating he did not have an estimate of the number of other municipalities and vehicles that would be involved in this. The Village has 13 vehicles of its own. Commissioner Zabloudil advised staff to be sure the surcharge absorbs the extra expense. Mr. Balicki said the fueling fee will increase from $.10 to $.15 to cover the costs.
Clarification Amendment to Section 7-11(A) & (B) of the Downers Grove Municipal Code Regarding Building Permit Fee Schedules. The Manager said this amendment would clarify the permit fee structure.
Commissioner Tully asked about the differences between proposed section A referring to demolition permit fees, and proposed section D also dealing with demolition fees for residential buildings. He said it seems duplicative. Manager Ginex said he would get that information.
An Ordinance Amending Provisions Concerning Groundwater Wells – Chapter 25-52 of the Municipal Code. Attorney Blondin said that the Village is responding to a recommendation from Versar, our environmental consultant. He said the IEPA has provided for steps to effect remediation for contaminated soil to remove it or provide a way that it will not effect the public health. The common practice is to provide an engineering barrier. Municipalities may adopt an Ordinance covering all or a portion of the community, prohibiting the drilling of wells for potable water purposes. The Ordinance defined potable water as water that can be ingested into individuals. This purpose is to provide a mechanism by which individuals or the Village could demonstrate that institutional controls have been established Village-wide. It also avoids the need to go on a case-by-case basis for a highway authority agreement. The Ordinance will have to be submitted to the IEPA , and they may require a memorandum of understanding. Attorney Blondin said it is likely that he will be coming to the Council with a highway agreement for the Station Crossing site. The ordinance may be in effect for the parking deck and/or other projects that may arise. The Ordinance has been reviewed with the Public Works Department and is a zero effect ordinance as the Village currently does not allow people to sink wells for potable water.
Resolution Authorizing Execution of a Highway Authority Agreement – Amoco. Attorney Blondin said that no further remediation from the IEPA is being sought for the Amoco station bounded by Ogden, Forest and Main Streets. The Village has jurisdiction over Forest and Main Streets. The Agreement states that the Village will not let anyone sink a well for potable water on Forest or Main Streets.
Joan Radovich representing Amoco said that they are in the process of securing a Highway Authority Agreement with IDOT . Commissioner Sisul asked if it is Amoco’s responsibility to clean the site, and she said it is, as the site is owned by BP.
Bill Hall , BP Products, North America, confirmed that this is a company-owned station rebuilt last year.
Commissioner Tully referred to the proposed ordinance just discussed. He asked if that ordinance were passed if it would be the agreement required under this agenda item.
Attorney Blondin said if the ordinance had been passed and also approved by the IEPA , the applicant could use it as the institutional controls for that area.
Commissioner Tully added that he also wanted verification that there is no third-party ownership here. Mr. Hall said they excavated a considerable amount of soil from the site at that time it was rebuilt. He said they are the property owners and there is no third-party lessee, although he said he would check that.
Parking & Traffic Commission Recommendations:
File #01-02 Regulatory Control at the Intersection of Benton Avenue and Summit Street. The Manager said this recommendation is for a Yield control sign at this intersection, where Summit will yield to Benton.
Commissioner McConnell said she believes this is a good decision.
File #03-02 Belmont Road and Prairie Avenue Regulatory Control. The Manager said this recommendation is for a “No Turn on Red when School Children Are Present” for westbound Prairie.
Commissioner Schnell said that at one time 39th and Main had a similar sign. She said there have been questions about what “when school children are present” means. She asked the Police Department review that terminology to determine if there have been problems in other areas of the Village with that wording.
The Mayor said that some communities have designated hours on the signage.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, said that going north there is a sign that says “No Turn on Red when pedestrians are present.” She said this sign may also be confusing and needs clarification.
Proposals for Geotechnical Studies for Surface Transportation Program (STP) Grant Projects:
- Fairview Avenue Resurfacing.
- Dunham Road Improvements.
- Main Street Resurfacing.
- Woodward Avenue Improvements.
Jane Gerdes , Assistant Director, Public Works, said staff is presenting four letters of agreement that represent “due diligence” for engineering. Before design plans begin, they need to find out the characteristics of the soil and the pavement in general. The projects represent about $3 million in pavement. The cost for the Geotechnical Studies is $34,000.
The Mayor referred to the four projects, noting that Main Street is almost done. He asked if Woodward, Fairview and Dunham are in the RFP process. Ms. Gerdes said that bids are coming in for Fairview and Dunham already. Thirty RFQs were sent out in December with 19 responses received. Staff is now negotiating with the top three companies.
17. Park District Satellite Maintenance Facility at McCollum Park. Ms. Gerdes said this facility is for the stormwater engineering that is part of the intergovernmental agreement to tear down the existing facility and rebuild it. This proposal is for engineering services is to develop the necessary plans and run the required computer modeling to satisfy the requirements of the Village’s Stormwater Management Ordinance for the stormwater management permit. Although the Park was designed for stormwater detention, it was built prior to the 1992 Stormwater Management Ordinance. The contract has been reviewed by the Legal Department.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Schnell said the Public Services Committee will be meeting Monday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m. at Village Hall.
Commissioner Gilbert said he has no report, but said that the Village Manager sent a memo regarding House Bill 1689 for Fire Department Fair Testing. He said there are some dangerous procedures being set forth with this bill, and he would like to see letters sent to Representatives regarding concerns on this issue.
Commission McConnell said there was no report from the Finance and Administrative Committee.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Attorney Blondin presented the following items to the Council: A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement to participate in the Metropolitan Enforcement Group; a resolution accepting recommendation of the Parking & Traffic Commission in relation to the sidewalk priority; an ordinance amending the false alarm system fees; an ordinance amending the comprehensive zoning ordinance to designate Parker’s Place as Planned Development #35; a resolution authorizing execution of a broker of record agreement with Marsh USA ; an ordinance amending parking restrictions resulting from the CBD reconstruction project; a resolution authorizing submittal of a grant agreement application to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs regarding the heavy rescue squad; a resolution authorizing submittal of grant agreement application to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs regarding educational robot; a resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the bulletproof vest partnership; a resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality improvement program regarding bikeway improvements; a resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the City of Chicago Department of Environment for the Regional Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Grant Program; an ordinance amending building permit fee descriptions; an ordinance amending provisions concerning private wells; a resolution authorizing execution of a tiered approach to corrective action objective agreement with BP Products North America, Inc.; an ordinance amending traffic regulations at the intersection of Summit Street and Benton Avenue; an ordinance amending traffic regulations at the intersection of Belmont Road and Prairie Avenue; and a resolution authorizing execution of a professional services agreement with Hampton, Lenzini & Renwick, Inc. regarding the McCollum Park Satellite Facility.
George Swimmer , 4905 Main Street, said the Council deserved a gold medal for endurance. He said he was a CPA and insurance agent and is familiar with the concept of risk. He has been involved for some time with railroad safety, and last week there was a fatal pedestrian accident at the Belmont Avenue crossing. The individual was hit by a high speed Amtrak train going down the middle track at 70 mph. He noted that last year a woman was hit at the same place and the same time. He reviewed other accidents of a similar nature over the years. Mr. Swimmer said there have been four fatalities involving pedestrians hit by express trains which were passing other trains or trains parked in the station. He said other railroad lines do not allow this operating procedure because it is dangerous. He has discussed this matter with railroad executives and has attempted to educate the public about it. Mr. Swimmer asked that the Council look into the matter, saying that there are a number of safety procedures that can be implemented to prevent this from occurring again.
The Mayor said that the Village cannot stop a train or not let it go by. He said there have been a number of accidents of which the Village is aware. The Village obtained a grant and has provided education and enforcement of violators. He said people are not being killed due to problems with the gates. There will be a METRA meeting with the Village next week and he will bring this matter to their attention.
Mr. Swimmer said that the Belmont crossing does not have pedestrian gates. There was a question as to whether or not the gates were there and Mr. Swimmer said he would go and check into it himself.
Commissioner Gilbert commented on the discussions regarding the sidewalk matrix. In the attorney’s packet it reflects no changes in the wording, and he said that he would prefer to have the word “adopt” used regarding the sidewalk matrix and Commissioner Tully would like the fiscal year noted.
Commissioner Sisul moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss the purchase of property, and Section 2©(5) to discuss personnel matters. Commissioner Gilbert seconded the Motion.
VOTE : YEA : Commissioners Sisul, Gilbert, Zabloudil, Tully, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
The Motion passed unanimously.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned to Executive Session at 9:30 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh